News Release

Man’s Injuries Caused as a Result of Punching Cell Wall; SIU Terminates Barrie Investigation

Case Number: 20-OCI-213

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Mississauga, ON (21 September, 2020) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has terminated an investigation into the serious injuries sustained by a 27-year-old man last month in Barrie while he was lodged in a police station cell.

On August 27, 2020, the man was arrested on domestic-related charges.  He was brought to the police station and placed in a cell. The following day, the man attended a video bail hearing, at which time he learned that he was to be remanded back into custody. The man was then escorted back to a cell by a special constable. Once in the cell, the man punched the cell wall. He injured his right hand in the process and was transferred to hospital where he was diagnosed with three fractures and a dislocation to his right hand.  

Director Martino said, “Based on the SIU’s preliminary inquiries, including a review of the video recording of the man’s stay in cells on August 28, 2020, it is apparent that the man’s injuries were self-inflicted through no fault of the police. Frustrated with having been denied bail, the man forcefully punched the wall of his cell, causing his injuries in the process. As there is patently nothing to investigate as far as the potential criminal liability of any police officer is concerned in relation to the man’s injuries, the investigation is hereby discontinued and the file is closed.”

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations

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Monica Hudon, monica.hudon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342